Applesauce, Apple butter, Apple this, Apple that

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Wow, when we picked apples little did I know I would end up spending two long days in the kitchen. I sliced, I cooked, and I ran the apples through the food mill. I warmed jar after jar, and I filled jar after jar full of apple goodness. I canned applesauce, some to eat and some which I then turned into apple butter. I made coffee can bread (recipe coming soon) because I didn’t have enough going with all of those apples. I made apple dumplings from the Pioneer Woman and if you have never made these you must do so immediately. These dumplings are crazy good and highly addictive. I even waited patiently while the apple butter simmered away in the crock pot. Oh yeah, let’s not even talk about the dishes from all this cooking. No, we won’t go there, but the smiles on my family’s faces made those dishes in the sink disappear. The stories that were told about our apple picking day made the canning of apple butter at midnight seem like a funny story to add to our tales. Most of all, I felt thankful for getting to spend so much time in my kitchen making something wonderful for my family, something they will enjoy for many months to come.

Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Ingredients

2 quarts applesauce, fresh or canned

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons cloves

1/4 teaspoon all spice

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1. Place slow cooker on low heat.

2. Place applesauce, cinnamon, cloves, all spice, sugar, and brown sugar in slow cooker and mix well.

3. Cover loosely with lid. You don’t want to seal it tightly. You want the steam to escape so it can reduce in volume and thicken.

4. Leave it to cook on low for 6-8 hours. You can stir occasionally. You want the applesauce to reduce by half, and thicken to the consistency you like.

5. After 8 hours if it hasn’t reduced by half turn up the heat to high. Cook on high for one hour, or until the mixture thickens.

6. Place apple butter into sterile jelly jars using a large mouth funnel. Place lids on jars.

7. Store apple butter in the refrigerator- or process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes to seal. If the jars seal properly, you can store apple butter until you’re ready to serve.

This made 6 1/2 jelly jars.

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This Moment

I am playing with Soule Mama this week… In her words

{this moment}- A  Friday ritual A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

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Molecule Madness

For this lesson, I wanted the kids to take a closer look at molecules in the different states of matter. I started out by grabbing a clear storage container and some Fruit Loops cereal. I asked them to pack the container full. I then had them shake the packed container and observe what was happening to the cereal. Of course the cereal didn’t move around or change shapes. They concluded this was a solid shape. I had them glue Fruit Loops onto a paper I had made representing how many molecules each state had. DSC_0010-4 The next state of matter we picked was liquid. I had them remove a little over half of the Fruit Loops. I again had the kids shake the container and observe what happened to the cereal. The Fruit Loops moved around one another, but they moved slowly still. We discussed how a liquid state will take the shape whatever container it is in.. DSC_0014-2 The last state we looked at was gas. Again, I had the kids remove half of the Fruit Loops and observe what happened. The Fruit Loops moved around very quickly. They recorded their answers as we finished talking about molecules and the different states of matter. DSC_0021-2 DSC_0022-5

Peaches, Peaches, and More Peaches

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While picking apples the other day, I noticed the orchard had a bunch of peaches for sale. I thought about buying them, but I finished paying and made my way to the car. I was backing out when that little voice in my head said ” you’re already canning apples, why not peaches?” What? You guys don’t have that little voice in your head? Great, now I just feel silly. Anyway, moving forward, I decided to pull the car forward. I went back into the building and bought some peaches. I spent the day canning and freezing peaches. The recipe I used for the peaches can be found here.

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Apple Picking Fun

The other day we stopped at a local orchard to check when they allowed people to start picking apples. To our delight, they had already started. So we had a surprise apple picking day! One minute we are making our way to gymnastics and the next we are picking apples together. It was fun to just slow down and be in the moment with the kids. They were busy running from tree to tree, grabbing all the apples they could. They couldn’t wait to eat their apple. They spent the rest of the ride to town talking about all the goodies we would make with our apples. We also got to come home and mark apple picking off our fall bucket list.

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This Moment

I am playing with Soule Mama this week… In her words

{this moment}- A  Friday ritual A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

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Marshmallow Molecules

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Today in chemistry, we studied molecules. At the end of our reading, the kids got to invent their own molecule models using marshmallows. They also had to complete real molecule models from their chemistry book.

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What should we do with all of these marshmallows?

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Why eat them of course! What a fun way to learn science.